Nine Chilling Things About Elliot Rodger Revealed in Today's Times Piece

In Monday’s New York Times, a team of reporters came up with some of the missing backstory of Elliot Rodger’s life before he became the Isla Vista killer. The piece recounts how his parents tried but were stymied in their attempts to help their obviously troubled son. The article also emphasized that it is basically impossible to predict which tiny percentage of mentally ill people will commit acts of violence, even among those who threaten it. Although Rodger’s parents have said in a statement that they are dedicated to helping others avoid such tragedies, it is hard to figure out what could have been done for him. Well meaning people tried. Here are 9 chilling, and not well-known revelations in the story:

1.  Elliot Rodger was an enigma from a young age, even to his parents, who often told friends they did not know how to help or reach him. Peter Rodger, the father, once told a friend that Elliot was “such a good liar, I didn’t even know he knew how to lie.”

2.   Cathleen Bloeser, whose son knew Elliot from elementary school, told the Times she knew Elliot was an “emotionally troubled” boy. He would come over to her house and just hide. Even as a young boy, Elliot creeped Bloeser out. “If I could have picked anyone who would have done this, it would have been Elliot,” she told the Times. “My husband and I didn’t want our son to stay with Elliot.”

3.  He attended several high schools, and fled several, telling his parents he was being bullied. At one, he suffered an acute panic attack one day, where he just froze in the middle of the hall, and could not be moved until a teacher went outside to ask his mother, who was anxiously waiting in a car outside, to come get him. He was never seen at that school again.

4. He finally graduated from a small high school called Independence, a school for troubled kids, where he remained painfully shy, but was well-liked. He was protectively referred to as “Our Rodger” there. On the day of the murders, a teacher texted the Principal of the school, saying that’s “Our Rodger.”

5. Once at college, he tried to shove a girl off a ledge and got beaten up for it, his neighbor Chris Pollard recounted. When Pollard tried to calm him down and find out what happened, Rodger reportedly told him: “I’m going to kill them. I’m going to kill them. I’m going to kill myself.”

6. Simon Astaire, an author and agent and friend of the Rodger family, told The Times he once explicitly asked Peter Rodger whether Elliot could prove a threat to the public. Peter Rodger assured him not. Astaire said he always worried that Elliot would commit suicide one day.

7.  The final year of his life was conducted almost entirely on-line, except when he cruised the California coast in the BMW his mother had bought him to help boost his self-esteem. (He had begged.) On the woman hating websites like Puahate that he frequented, he often boasted about his great looks and pedigree, and was sometimes mocked for his small stature, echoing high school. One poster taunted him as “an average looking manlet.”

8. A fellow poster on, another website where Rodger posted his bile towards women, said that Rodger had taken down a video titled “Why Do Girls Hate Me So Much?” The anonymous poster told Rodger the video made him look like a serial killer. “I’m not trying to be mean, but the creepy vibe that you give off in those videos is likely the major reason that you can’t get girls,” he wrote.

9. Members of Rodger’s various online communities debated about whether to tip the police off to Rodger’s threatening videos even as the killings were happening, then decided not to saying, "We didn't do anything . . . Let it happen."


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